“And it came to pass, afterward, that He went throughout every city and village, preaching and shewing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God, and the twelve with Him.”
Jesus was born into this world for a single purpose, to do the will of His Father. He came to save His people, given Him of the Father before the world began, from their sin by fulfilling all the types and shadows of the Law of Moses. He was sent forth and anointed to “preach good tidings unto the meek…bind up the broken hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and the opening of the prisons of the bound” (Is. 61:1). He is the messenger with the everlasting gospel “unto them that dwell on the earth and to every nation, kindred, tongue and people” (Rev. 14:6). He came forth not to do His will and to acclaim glory unto Himself but rather He came forth to do the will of Him that sent Him. He spoke the word of God, being the Word that became flesh and dwelt among His people and He completed all that was required of Him by the power of God, being One with the Father.
Jesus did not dwell with the famous in the thriving metropolises of the time, He came to dwell in a land forsaken by the people, conquered by armies and despised of the nation of Israel. He walked the country-side preaching the power of God unto salvation, healing the sick, casting out devils and raising the dead. The Pharisaical element of the religious world came to challenge Him on the things He said but were astonished by His understanding and learning. Like many today, they were more concerned with the educational background and tutelage that one had more than the truth that was being presented. They could not see, hear or comprehend that God had taken them in their learning and made them fools to the glory of His kingdom.
Jesus had just finished an exchange with the Pharisees over the Shabbat (Sabbath) and preaching to a multitude of people when He rebuked the religious leaders calling them blind leading blind. He then entered into the city of comfort (Capernaum) where a centurion’s servant was raised made whole without Jesus even meeting the man or his servant. He then walked about 20 miles to the village of beauty (Nain) where He, according to the laws and customs, made Himself unclean as He touched the bier where a dead body was laying. He spoke to the young man and raising him from the dead, delivered him back to his mother. The disciples of John with Jesus reported all that they had seen unto John who doubted if this Jesus was the Messiah that should restore the kingdom of Israel. Jesus again chides the multitude of people following Him for their unbelief and natural obsession with fame and glory and rebukes the Pharisees and lawyers for rejecting “the counsel of God against themselves” (7:30). Finally, Jesus is rebuked of the Pharisees for allowing a woman, who was a sinner, to touch Him as she washed His feet with her tears, wiped them dry with her hair and anointed them with ointment. Jesus had done everything to exclude Himself from the acceptable circles of the religious hierarchy as He identified Himself with those whom He had been given of the Father. These were and still are the outcast of society, the poor of the world and the strangers in the midst of an evil and perverse generation.
Now, after these things, He went throughout the cities and villages of the region of Galilee, proclaiming the power of God unto salvation, and the twelve with Him. He came as the Elect Servant of God with the authority of the Kingdom of God, He spoke as the Son of God, the first born of all creation, in fulfillment of all that was written in the law and the prophets. Yet with all the power of God over all flesh He walked the hills and valleys of the land of Galilee with twelve disciples (one of which was a devil from the beginning) and women.
The first mentioned here is called ‘the tower of their rebellion’ (Mary Magdalene). After the flood, when man began once again to populate the earth in the land of Shinar, the pride of man caused them to rebel against the glory of God and to attempt to leave their legacy upon the earth. “Go to now, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top unto heaven and let us make us a name lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth” (Gen. 11:4). This woman had been cleansed of evil spirits and many infirmities and seven devils had been dismissed from her habitation.
The second woman named here is called ‘Jehovah the gracious giver’ (Joanna) who was the wife of a ‘seer’ (Chuza) in the courts of the wicked king Herod. This king was an ‘heroic’ man who was raised up by the power and will of God to be as a buffer between Israel and the Roman empire. The third woman is the lily (Susanna).
Jesus was traveling around the region of Galilee which was the northern portion of the old land of Israel. This was the nation that built a false temple, ordained false priests and enacted fraudulent feasts under the leadership of Jeroboam. He enacted these atrocities to prevent his people from returning to Jerusalem and worshiping in Solomon’s Temple. This was the sin of Jeroboam wherein he made all Israel to sin, but rather than spending His time in the Mecca of religious society (Jerusalem), Jesus went unto the people who lay in darkness (Luke 1:79) to preach and shew forth the kingdom of God.
He took with Him His bride who was, is and always shall be one in Him. She was asleep in the dust of the earth because of the sin of Adam. Since in Adam all have sinned and come short of the glory of God, when the children of grace became partakers of flesh and blood they inherited the rebellion of Adam in his pride. Thus the habitation of this dwelling is represented as the ‘tower of their rebellion’. In this, the children of grace walked “according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit of disobedience. Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others”, hence Mary Magdalene.
The wages of sin is death but God who is rich in mercy wherewith He loved His people and gave Himself for them has come that they might have life and have it more abundantly. He gave Himself that He might give eternal life unto His people in Him. So as He is raised up a new man in His resurrection so the house of the first-born of the dead are raised up unto newness of life. They are seated together with Him in the heavenlies in full manifestation of the spiritual man in the glorified body. Yet while here, in the habitation of this dwelling, they groan awaiting the manifestation of the sons of God. Jehovah sent forth His salvation to be a propitiation for the sin of His people, therefore, by grace are they saved, hence Joanna.
The bride is and has always been undefiled. She did not become a partaker of the sin of Adam in her nature in God but she did become a partaker of the flesh and blood. When the sacrifice for sin was made, once in the end of the world, it was granted unto her to be arrayed in fine linens pure and white. This is the righteousness of the saints which is the imputed righteousness of His Anointed. She is pure and Holy and in her is no spot nor blemish. She is the lily of the valley, a lily among thorns (Song 2:1f) and He has come forth into His garden to gather lilies (6:2). He feeds among the lilies and she looks like the lilies. His desire is upon her and she is completely His, hence, Susanna.
Jesus was going throughout every city and village preaching the power of God unto salvation and shewing forth His Bride. He had come to the Israel of our God and caused them to return unto Jehovah their God because they had fallen away by their iniquity (Perversity, depravity and guilt). He had represented them as the head of the Body and the Husband of the bride and had taken away all their guilt. The full demands of the perfect Law of God had been laid upon Him. He became the sin of His people and drank of the sup of the wrath of God. They had been graciously received as He, being raised up by the power of God and manifested to be the Son of God, presented them before the throne, saying, “Behold I and the children”. He had healed their backsliding and manifested His eternal love for them, turning away the wrath of God. He is the dew unto Israel who shall grow as the lily and cast forth his roots as Lebanon (Hosea 14:1-5).
The mystery of the gospel, set forth by the prophets was being shown forth in the ministry of Jesus Christ. He was anointed of the Spirit to preach glad tidings of great joy unto His people of every nation. He came to find each and ever one of His people whether they be in the city of comfort, the beautiful village or a servant in the court of Herod the king. His feet were washed with tears and anointed by a sinner but, O how beautiful, upon the mountain, are the feet of Him that brings good tidings and publishes peace; that brings good tidings of good and publishes salvation; that says unto Zion,
Thy God reigns!!!
In a patriarchal society these women were unimportant. They were not part of the most influential women of their day and were not found on the covers of any magazines. Mary having an evil spirit, infirmities and devils was not the role model for the youth of the day and the wife of the steward of King Herod was hardly a part of the coffee clutch of the religious purest. But they were known of Him and He drew them unto Himself to demonstrate that His people are the poor and afflicted of the earth. They have not the righteousness of the law, they have an incurable wound and they are without hope in this world.
They were outcasts of an evil generation but beloved of the Lord. They were hated of all men for His name sake but they had peace with God. They had been asleep in the dust of the earth, but they had been given ears to hear and when the Masters voice came forth in the sound of the trump of God they stood up, shook off the dust and put on their beautiful garments, “henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean” (Is. 52:1). When He walked the earth, she was hidden in plain view with “many others, which ministered unto Him of their substance” (Luke 8:3). Now in the habitation of this dwelling, He is hid in Her as she is in Him, ministering unto Her needs of His substance, which is, the Bread and water of life.
When the multitudes were gathered together, Jesus began teaching them in parables. His disciples did not understand why He was wasting such a grand media opportunity but He explained it to them; unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of God but to others (who are not His children for whom He died) in parables that seeing they might not see and hearing they might not understand” (8:10). The glad tidings of great joy are not for whom-so-ever will. It is for the redeemed of the Lord. The angel of having the everlasting gospel is the Messiah and He has gone forth and preached unto them that dwell upon the earth, saying with a loud voice, “Fear God and give glory to Him for the hour of His judgment is come and worship Him that made heaven and earth and the sea and the fountains of waters’ (Rev. 14:7). The gospel has gone forth to all nations; His sheep have heard His voice and do follow Him. Who-so-ever has ears to hear has heard the good tidings of the salvation of Jehovah God and those who have had their eyes opened have seen the kingdom of God.
Your servant in Christ,
(Elder) Chet Dirkes
May 12, 2013